How did you deal with toxic friends? - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information >
Register Blogs FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read

LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-07-2010, 01:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
silentone's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 38

How did you deal with toxic friends?

I really need some advise on this subject.

I have a dear friend that I have been friends with for years, and we did everything together including druging. I have stopped hanging out with any of my other friends, but she is a bit differant since we have been friends for such a long time, and I do love her.

This is my problem though, I have told her what I am doing and why, and she doesnt understand at all. She believes that the meds, make her and everybody for that matter, a better person, although I know it does not. (I have seen her go from smart, to making extremely bad choices, from thin to overweight and very lazy. I can not beleive a word that comes out of her mouth, anymore. She steals... ya know, the addicts life.)

She has no intention of quiting, and therefore I quit talking to her or texting her, but she continues to text me and call me and I am not real sure what to do, I dont want to hurt her anymore then I already have, yet I know that there is no way I can ever be around her while she is still using. I am no way strong enough to do that. I dont know if I should just tell her again, and ask her to lose my number or what?

( for some reason when I see her calling or see her texting, I get panic attacks, it triggers cravings as well. )
silentone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
Saphie's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: My world
Posts: 379
You and your recovery must come first. If you really don't want any contact (I think your body is telling you that already), do whatever is necessary. Block her number, get a new number. Tell her what you've told us, you love her, but until she understands you and maybe reaches her own steps to recovery, you just can't be around her or anybody else that is using/drinking. Hang in there, don't give in. You are doing well. You've recognized a trigger.
Saphie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 01:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
Horselover's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 6,608
Blog Entries: 3
You definitely need to tell her if she is to be around you that she absolutely can not use during that time. As far as her getting help and recovering that is her responsibility. Lead by example and try not to worry too much about her. Do you have a recovery program outside of SR? People to hang out with that DO understand your journey? It might help and don't worry about hurting her feelings. She will eventually get the fact you need to do this because its your life you are messing with and if she does not get that point then I'm sorry, you need a new friend. Harsh but true.

I am an alcoholic and I have a member of my family that I could not ignore, BUT I did tell this person there would be no alcohol in our house and in the early part of recovery I asked that she not drink with me present. She got it and she did it for my recovery. I needed that in the beginning. Do whatever is necessary to be well.
"For who among us shall cast the first stone?"
Horselover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
Anna's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 52,048
I see that as a toxic relationship, just as you said. My suggestion is to stay away, completely, at least for quite awhile. I had to remove some people from my life, not alcoholics, but people who triggered my anxiety and who were full of negativity. I simply couldn't handle it, and knew instinctively they had to go. The amazing thing is, that almost immediately, two super women appeared in my life, both of who were guides and mentors to me. Without those two women, I wouldn't be where I am now, but I had to make space for them, in my life.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Marianne Williamson
Anna is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Anna For This Useful Post:
Tums (12-23-2014)
Old 01-07-2010, 01:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
Don't resist, allow
intention's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: South East of England
Posts: 1,521
I agree with Saphie's advice. She is probably panicing because you have given up and now it is her mission to get you using again......because if you don't, what does that tell her about what she is doing?

This disease is truly cunning, sending a friend to lure you back in. Don't be distracted because you are doing so well and by cutting off contact with her at the moment, you may actually do her some good.
intention is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,013
Cut em out. I knew I had to.

I "loved "the times I had and will always cherish experiences I had with my best friend whilst just getting loaded and partying and then continuing through the following morning and day then night!! I loved those times and I still have a warm place in my heart for them but they live a ifferent life than I do now. I had to admit that I am an alclholic/addict and they probably aren't or don't really care if they are. I knew what I had to do as they weren't there for me when I was in a police cell after getting caught for possesion or after my drink-driving etc.

No-one wants to know you when your down and out at the end of the day, even your best "friends". An alclholic will tire even the patience of a saint with there madness when blackout destructing. Save Yourself, no-one else will.
NEOMARXIST is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 4,150
My thoughts are similar to Horselovers in that if she wants to hang out with you the only way is if she is straight and sober when you do something and she respects the fact you have decided that you don't want to do drugs anymore and her trying to change that is being very disrespectful and is not what a friend would do.
It sounds like that is not going to happen but you may want to at least give her a chance.
What it is is what it is.

Only positivity No negativity.
Fubarcdn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
jamdls's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 2,405
Blog Entries: 2
Take care of YOU. I had a "friend" that I had partied with for over 20 yrs and different times we were more than friends but we always drank together I can not remember ever spending more than 1 hour w/him w/o drinking to excess. He never thought I had a problem...and could not understand why anyone would stop drinking he continued to contact me the first 9 months of my sobriety and I kept saying "I'm just not ready to socialize" finally I got the courage up to tell him (not f2f but by email) that our friendship was over period end of story good bye. He was hurt but I had to do what was best for me.

"Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up"

"With God all things are possible"
jamdls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 02:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
Eating protein and life.
Untoxicated's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Just. Plain. Grateful.
Posts: 503
Originally Posted by NEOMARXIST View Post
Cut em out.

I have a friend who was always there to convince me that I didn't have a problem with drinking. For the longest time I didn't want to "break up" with a buddy I've had since childhood (we met at age 4 in diapers) and I also liked the idea of not having a problem with drinking because it meant I could keep doing it without guilt.

The problem is that he is so deep in his addiction that he can't see the forest for the trees. He's been addicted to pain meds since we started hanging out again in 2001 and he's admitted to using them long before that. He's lost jobs, a marriage, several relationships with gfs as well as friends like me, and his health is going downhill (he eats like crap and is very lazy). He has lived with our entire circle of friends at least once and every time we had to kick him out because he wouldn't leave when asked. He now lives with his father at 32 for the 5th time in five or six years.

I liked hanging out with him because his situation always seemed worse than mine and drinking seemed such a trivial matter when compared to his. When I finally decided to get sober on 12/16/2009 I told him about it and how I needed to focus on living right again - I invited him to join me in my journey but he refused stating that he didn't have a problem (and neither did I). I haven't heard from him since.

It's not easy to confront those that used to party with you or those that made themselves feel normal by telling you that you are normal - but in the end a toxic friendship can be just as deadly as the drug itself.

Take care.
"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would
be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while
remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you
cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent
egg. We must be hatched or go bad." - C. S. Lewis
Untoxicated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,095
How did you deal with toxic friends?
I stopped being one of them.
keithj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 04:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
cjsg's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: STROUD, OK
Posts: 158
You'll get no great magic solution, or anything real profound from me. I'm just anormal guy who got sober once and continued to see a toxic friend, so to speak. I mean we were great friends in active addiction, and I surmised that he was really my friend aside from that. He was one of the few people that got me and we got along well. My visits were short, he understood what I was doing and never offered it to me. Months later during a short visit I smoked pot. The next time I visited I decided to have a few Methadone pills. All subsequent visits I made turned into little escapades, you know just a few pills to reward myself for being sober 90 percent of the matter how hard I tried to tow the line ... it seemed each visit I made eroded my resolve and my addictive reasoning starting chipping away at the recovery mindset I had worked hard to get in much so that I found myself ultimately compromising that. I was new in was ingenuous and very naive of me to think I could cut all toxic friends out EXCEPT him. 8 years later I had to get sober all over. This time I cut all these people out. Some are in jail...two have died so its a little easier this time as there aren't so many to cut out of my life, sad to say.
I agree with what most have said and with what you already know you are probably going to have to do. The wisest, most responsible thing you can do is tell her the truth. DO NOT endanger your new found resolve. It is simply not worth it. We are all different, and not everyone would have the same experience I did and end up using, but Why even risk it. Listen to the counsel of the many who have been in the same situation and got the results you want to get. YOU come first. Without sobriety we don't have much. If you tell her what you want and she continues to contact you, you may just have to be more assertive and just block her. Take care of yourself....don't endanger your sobriety....this is serious bizniss. Your gut is serving you well...keep listening to it and good luck . We can do this!!
Im Not a Complete Idiot............ Im missing a few parts still
cjsg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
shaun00's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 2,548
to be honest alot of them decided for themselves that shaun wasnt much "fun" anymore.......if i was still drinking the last person id wanna hang out with is someone that doesnt drink.

i have one friend that is an active alcoholic......i rarely visit although i contact him most days by telephone.
i have visted him.....but ask him if he is blasted first.....well i can tell normally.
he is a dear friend and we go way back......but i wont enable him.

i have friends that smoke cigarettes that are way longer than mine.....again i wont visit if their blasted....they respect me........thats why their friends.

i have no fear of being around drink or drugs.........but if they are too drunk or high to have a sensible conversation........whats the point.
shaun00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 08:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
Ninsuna's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 204
I have one of these friennds as well. I wrote her a letter about how much I love her and want us to still be friends but I can't be around her if she is drinking. I suggested things we could do together that don't involve alcohol. She has stopped contacting me completely and has a new "best friend" now. I hope she'll make her way into recovery someday and if she does I'll welcome her with open arms.
"The calm ones will get it done, and it's the brave that will overcome." -One eskimO
Ninsuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2010, 10:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
vegibean's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SE and then South some more
Posts: 2,649
I think you have already done all you can. I feel ya on the getting the anxiety when she calls too.

If it were me, I think I would just remind her that "I am trying to stay sober, I'm afraid if we hang out I'm going to pick up and I don't want to do that any more." Put it on you so it's not directed at her, know what I mean? Kind of let her off the hook kind of thing.

Take some deep breaths and be good to yourself. You are doing great.
"When you're green, you grow, when you're ripe, you rot. Don't stop learning." ~ Unknown
vegibean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2010, 11:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
silentone's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 38
After reading, I just want to say thank you.

I have had so much anxiety about this, I have donr nothing. I havent answered back, as I really cant deal with it right at this moment. I still need some time to think about it. I have to agree that I will more then likley just have to cut all ties, and take care of me, but that is super hard for me to do. I like the idea of saying that I am just not ready to socialize yet, and that the reason is because I dont ever want to pick up again, and maybe she will just find me boring, after awhile. If she doesnt then well I will take it a bit further and block her number.

p.s. I meant to write advice not advise. (opps, blush)
silentone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2010, 11:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
Saphie's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: My world
Posts: 379
Don't blush
I always write advise and if you check, it's both acceptable.
Any advise/advice is always welcome
Saphie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2010, 02:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
Dee74's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 179,191
Blog Entries: 1
Hi Silentone

I had to let a few people go too - like Chris said, I had one mate in particular who I partied with - every time I tried to get sober, I'd end up smoking pot with him...which inevitably led to drinking and promises of starting again tomorrow....which then never arrived for several months....

The truth was he wasn't a bad guy....but our whole relationship was so intrinsically and fundamentally based on booze and drugs I had to step away if I wanted any chance of recovery.

Dee74 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:17 AM.